The News
The News
Thursday 01 of December 2022

Son of Mexico Drug Cartel Figure Indicted on U.S. Drug Charges 


A port security specialist stationed at the Maritime Safety and Security Team 91105, stands guard over  more than 40,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $500 million being offloaded from the cutter Sherman upon its return here, April 23, 2007,photo: Wikimedia
A port security specialist stationed at the Maritime Safety and Security Team 91105, stands guard over more than 40,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $500 million being offloaded from the cutter Sherman upon its return here, April 23, 2007,photo: Wikimedia
Dámaso López Serrano, son of Dámaso López Núñez, turned himself in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on July 27 in Calexico, California

SAN DIEGO – The son of a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel has been indicted on drug smuggling charges in the United States and pleaded not guilty on Monday, less than two weeks after surrendering to U.S. border inspectors.

Dámaso López Serrano was ordered held without bail after a brief appearance in federal court in San Diego. He is the son of Dámaso López Núñez, who has launched a struggle for control of the cartel following the arrest of its leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.

Guzmán Loera was extradited to the United States earlier this year to face drug charges.

López  Núñez was arrested by authorities in Mexico City in May. Known by the nickname “El Licenciado,” a title for college graduates, he was long considered Guzmán Loera’s right-hand man and helped him escape from Mexican prison in 2001.

López Núñez is believed to have been locked in a dispute with Guzmán’s sons for control of the cartel’s territories. The head of Mexico’s federal detectives’ agency, Omar García Harfuch, said in May that López Núñez was “one of the main instigators of violence” in the Mexican states of Sinaloa and the southern part of Baja California.


López Serrano, known as “Mini Lic,” turned himself in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on July 27 in Calexico, California, across the border from Mexicali, Mexico, said Adam Braverman, an assistant U.S. attorney.

The indictment, which was filed in August 2016 and ordered unsealed Monday, charges López Serrano with conspiracy to import and distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

Braverman told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw that the investigation lasted five years and involved intercepts of more than 250 communication devices. In 2015, there were tens of thousands of communication intercepts and “a number of [drug] seizures” in Mexico and the United States.

López Serrano appeared in an orange uniform for jail inmates and said little in court.

His attorney, Michael Littman, entered the not-guilty plea on his client’s behalf. Littman declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

ELLIOT SPAGAT